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Bilateral below Knee amputation, failure to diagnose and remove blood clots in the legs.

Defendants: The NHS Trust

The Facts

A 52 year old man developed severe pain in both legs which became unbearable. He was examined by his GP who could not find a pulse in either of his legs and he was sent to hospital as an emergency.

He was admitted and tests were carried out which showed he had blood clots in both lower legs. He underwent an operation to remove the clots but unfortunately he was not checked after surgery to ensure sufficient clot had been removed to allow good circulation to be restored.

Two days after surgery, one of his feet became painful again. The pain became unbearable and he was put on morphine. His leg became swollen and cold. It also started to ulcerate.

At this stage he was told hat he had developed gangrene in the leg and he needed to have a below knee amputation.

He was discharged home after this.

His remaining leg became progressively worse in the next two years following his amputation, and eventually he was advised to have the second leg amputated below the knee. The reason was that the failure to clear the clot in the initial surgery had severely compromised the circulation causing severe pain and loss of use.


  • There was a failure to clear all or sufficient clot in both legs to ensure sufficiently good circulation was restored.
  • There was a failure to check the clot had been cleared after surgery


Liability was denied by the hospital. It was necessary to issue and serve court proceedings and then a trial date was fixed. The defendants approached us shortly before the trial date and a meeting to discuss the case was arranged. Terms of settlement were eventually reached after a lengthy meeting but liability was never admitted. The client received damages of £1,050,000.